With family vacations and wedding planning and working two jobs and wedding planning and wedding planning, July whizzed by without a second-thought to blog posts. But, there were plenty of pictures to be had, so here's the recap.
Started off the day in Riverdale helping with a 5k city race. That was followed by Jamba juice and crepes and family fun with the DeYoungs. Later that day, we drove to Riverton to watch Mom and Brooklyn in the parade. And last (but not least) the good ole' Riverton Fireworks with Kyle and the family. What a spectacular holiday (and my favorite, too!)
Demolition Derby Date Night
On July 6th, Kyle and I took a trip to Riverton with friends Katie and Kolby. After barbecuing at my house, we stopped at the market for some cream soda and it was time for the derby! It was Kyle and Katie's first time at a derby, and even though it rained, we had a blast!
Happy Birthday Kyle!
Kyle's 23rd birthday was on the 19th of July! We spent his birthday at Grandma Pack's house with the extended family for the whole weekend. The day began with strawberry french toast and Cookie Crisp Cereal, and later in the day we celebrated with Avatar cake and cupcakes. He also got a certificate to iFly on his birthday (but that adventure comes later.) That night, we went to the Fairview Rodeo with the family where Kyle sported his new cowboy boots. Happy Birthday Mr. DeYoung!
And the fun didn't stop there...
Brooklyn's birthday was on July 29th, so we celebrated with Despicable Me 2 and dinner at Sweet Tomatoes. I also quit my job at Michaels at the end of July! No more waking up at 4:30am! Huzzah! And let's not forget the wedding planning! Shopping and crafting and painting and purchasing and planning and stressing and watching it all come together! Now there are only two weeks left, and we are so excited!
Last week, I went to West Yellowstone with Kyle and my family. We spent four glorious days under the sun, playing in the park, and seeing all of the shows at The Playmill Theatre. What a grand time. Here are some pictures from the vacation!
On the drive to West Yellowstone we made a couple of stops. First, we had lunch in Rexburg with my best friend Elise Vander Does. (Oh I've missed her!) Then, we stopped at Big Springs in Island Park. This stream is crystal clear, and all of the water comes from natural springs in the ground. Usually we feed the big fish here, but they were hiding under the bridge from the hot afternoon sun.
After getting checked into the Motel, we had one of my favorite West Yellowstone treats: Graham cracker flavored ice cream with tiny pieces of chocolate-covered graham crackers mixed in. The Graham Slam at Buckaroo Bills! It's especially fun because we get to eat underneath covered wagons;)
Our second day on the trip, we ventured into the park to see some of the popular sights in Yellowstone National Park. We saw Old Faithful and we walked around several of the geysers and paint pots. Even though it was steamy and smelly... it was still incredible! There aren't very many places in the world where you can see such unique sights! Also, I love how brilliant the colors are.
Me, Mom, and Kyle at Old Faithful. I never got to see it erupt during the day when I lived there last year! (Only saw it once, at midnight.) What a sight!
MOMENT OF TRUTH: Kyle has gotten me into the whole Avatar: The Last Airbender thing, and so of course, who would we be if we missed out on a picture of us water bending in the park? ;) Yes... guilty as charged.
After we explored the geysers and hot pots on our first day in the park, we went to Firehole Canyon for a little swimmin'! Firehole is one of my favorite places. The water is great, the rapids are wild, and the canyon is gorgeous! That's my honey pullin' a stunt, and Brooklyn braving the rapids. So, so fun.
One of the biggest reasons for coming to West Yellowstone was to see the shows at The Playmill Theatre, a little theater in town where I worked last summer. I was so excited to show Kyle The Playmill! Our first night in West Yellowstone we saw The Fiddler on the Roof. It was such a fun show, and officially my first show I've seen at The Playmill. :) Our second night in town, we saw Beauty and the Beast. My dear friend Hannah Merrill was Belle, and she was absolutely wonderful (as always!).
I made sure that Kyle and I got our sweet fix during the trip. I had to experience all of the treats that I remembered from my summer in West Yellowstone. Our second morning in town, we bought breafkast from the bakery to save for Sunday morning, and then we got some cannolis to go! So yum.
The second day in the park, we went to some of my favorite sights. We visited some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the park! The picture above is at the Lower Falls. The rest of the family decided to skip this hike because they had seen the Lower Falls last year, but I took Kyle down to the lookout point. The rushing waters are amazing!
This is my favorite view of the waterfall, Artist's Point. It is so picturesque.
I just can't get over how beautiful the park is!
After spending the majority of the day in the park, we often came back to the motel to rest. Kyle and I would walk around town, grab ice cream, or just come back to the motel to relax and get ourselves ready for the shows in the evening! Late-night shows and early-mornings in the park can be pretty tiring!
Kyle and I wandering around West Yellowstone.
We loved our crystal pops from the old fashioned candy shoppe across the street! :)
I had to be sure and take Kyle to all of the great little restaurants in town. We ate at The Woodside Bakery, The Running Bear, The Red Lotus, Buckaroo Bill's, Arrow Leaf, and a couple of other great places. Our last night in town we ate at the Taco Bus! It's a bus that's been converted into a little Mexican fast-food restaurant. Ah, the Taco Bus. A West Yellowstone classic ;)
Here's a picture of Me and Mr. DeYoung at The Playmill Theatre, waiting for the doors to open. The last night in town we saw Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (My personal favorite). All in all, it was such a fun trip. I loved exploring the park, and I loved seeing the shows at The Playmill Theatre. I loved the fun cast, the dole whip, the fudge, the music, and the atmosphere! What a cute little place, and so many great memories! The cast and the shows were fabulous, and I think Kyle had fun too. :)
Thanks for such an enjoyable trip, Mom and Dad! We loved every minute of it!
It's my second week at the new job, and I think it will be a pretty good little place to work during my last year of college. One of the best parts about where I work is the view from the front doors of the school. I get a clear shot of the Ogden Temple in all of it's progress and glory. (Photo courtesy of my low-quality iPod camera, yes thank you.)
I've been thinking about the temple a lot lately, and I just love that place so much. Kyle and I had the chance to go last week, and I love the peace that I feel in my life when I take time to visit the temple.
I love the temple because for once it's not about work, it's not about reception plans, it's not about school, or moving, or money, or not having enough sleep, or anything else. It's about being with The Lord in His house. And when I go with Kyle, it's about me being with Kyle. My Mr. DeYoung and the Lord. The two people who I love the most.
It's about deep pondering and cleansing my mind from the useless clutter of the day. It's about doing work and knowing the people who came before me. It's about peace, and purity, and happiness. And it's true... I am so much happier when I'm in the temple, and that happiness seeps into every other detail of my life after I've made a visit to that special place.
I'm looking forward to the Ogden Temple opening soon. It's so beautiful though, even when it's in the progress of being rebuilt. It's just like us. God is constantly reshaping and refortifying and rebuilding us to become more sacred and beautiful than we could ever imagine. Anyway. I can already foresee some little temple trips happening before and after work once this temple has finally opened.
I love that I have a clear view of the temple when I go to work every day. It's literally across the street. And it's another lovely little reminder that I get to be married in the Salt Lake Temple soon. (Like, really soon. Like a month and twenty-two days soon. And still it's not soon enough!)
Oh, how I love my father so. Happy Father's Day Daddy! Thank you for being my #1 Fan, my mentor, and my friend. I will always be grateful for your sacrifices, your leadership, and your words of wisdom. I love our family trips to great places, our shopping sprees as father-daughter, and our home-sweet-home moments that are always filled with hilarity and love. I hope you had a great Father's Day. I love you!
And just a picture for old times' sake.
Because looking at how little we all are just warms my heart.
I celebrated my 21st birthday this year, and what a fantastic time it was! My family and Mr. DeYoung went to special efforts to make sure it was a lovely holiday. Here are some pictures of the celebrating.
Mom and Dad took us out for my traditional birthday dinner the weekend before my birthday.
Texas Roadhouse was my choice this year,
and of course Kyle wouldn't let me leave without riding the saddle :)
Free ice cream for me!
Thank you Brooklyn for snapping a quick photo on the ipod!
Mom and Dad also gave me a really lovely book full of quotes,
And money for some birthday clothes! Huzzah!
I opened my gift from Jana and Dave DeYoung on Sunday.
Jana made me the most adorable apron. I absolutely love it!
She also gave me the secret ingredient to making her delicious grilled chicken ;) So yum.
Speaking of grilled chicken... Kyle and his sister, Sarah, made me dinner on my Birthday!
That meal is one of my favorites at the DeYoung residence :)
We ate outside in the backyard, it was such an enjoyable time.
Enjoying my birthday dinner with my sweet Kyle :)
After dinner, we opened presents and enjoyed some cake and ice cream!
I got some really cute new things... including my very own pair of wellies!
Thanks, Kyle. I love them so!
(And thanks to everyone else, too. I just adore all of my gifts!)
The cake and ice cream was absolutely delicious! What a treat :)
It was such a wonderful birthday. I have the best family that anyone could ask for.
A big thanks to everyone who made my 21st birthday so special.
-Dinner with the family at Texas Roadhouse
-A new clutch the color of sunshine
-Warm rolls with cinnamon butter
-More warm rolls with cinnamon butter (on the go!)
-Free ice cream
-Homemade cards with colorful drawings from nieces and nephews
-Birthday mail from across the pond
-Getting a sneak peak at engagement photos
-A pretty new necklace
-A new kitchen apron (and so colorful, too!)
-Raspberry waffles on birthday place mats
-Spending the day with Mr. DeYoung
-Handmade cards and buttons
-Messages from best friends
-Shopping with Kyle
-Ice cream at The Mercantile with Mom.
-Phone calls from loved ones
-Enjoying homemade birthday dinners on the back patio
-Watching The Little Mermaid with Mr. DeYoung